Archive for the ‘EMC Networker’ Category

NetWorker 7.6 SP2 with support for VMware VADP has finally become GA (Generally Available) and as with any new build, the first thing I do is download the documentation to see whats new or changed.

After downloading all available docs from Powerlink, I went and opened the document titled “Licensing Guide” which you would think should cover VADP licensing right ? ….. Wrong!.

Next I went and looked at “EMC NetWorker VMware Integration Guide“, I was hopeful this would contain the information I was after, but after reading the section “Licensing NetWorker support for VMware” I felt very much like I did when I saw the movie Mulholland Drive for the first time. 

However, today I was glad to receive an email from a colleague who found the following post on the NetWorker Community site by Eric Carter at EMC helping to clear up some of the misleading/confusing statements regarding licensing for VADP in 7.6 SP2 documentation.

Hopefully it wont be too long till we see updated documentation on Powerlink. (I’m also hoping the VADP licensing information gets added to the licensing guide document)

(click on the image below to enlarge)

Well its finally arrived, NetWorker 7.6 SP2 with support for VADP is now GA.

I’ve got a number of posts about this coming up, but for the moment, just a quick one to say it’s here, and to list some of the published features.

It’s fair to say that existing NetWorker customers have been waiting for VADP support for a considerable time now, so its great to finally see it arrive. However without putting a damper on things I would like to suggest customers do not rush off and upgrade without reading the release notes and considering there are still a number of open escalation’s in this build which are logged for issues with VADP.

VMware: vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP)

  • Integrated with vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP)
  • Change block tracking (CBT) support (file-based)
  • Single-step image-level backups & restores
  • Support for file level recovery from Windows VMs

 Flexible Single Step VM Recovery

  • To the original, new, or configure a new virtual machine
  • Recover the VM to the same/different vCenter, ESX Server, or ESX datastore

 NetWorker VADP proxy options

  • Physical or virtual servers
  • Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003

DD Boost or Avamar Grid deduplication backups

  • DD Boost on VADP Proxy with Dedicated NetWorker Storage Node
  • Support for Global Encryption and Compression Directives for  NTFS image and file level backups
  • VMware VADP and In-Guest backups of the same UNIX/Linux based virtual machine

Working for an EMC Partner and being involved in Beta testing means I have to be careful not to blog about anything which could violate the Non Disclosure Agreement we sign as part of the Beta program.

Considering the following information can be found in the NetWorker Community forums, I can say the following;

  • NetWorker 7.6 SP2 will support VADP with change block tracking
  • The Beta program has been delayed till late January
  • The final release according to EMC is still due Q1 in 2011

Ive come across the same problem at a number of customer sites recently, so I thought this might be something worth posting about.

The problem typically comes about as customers who’ve traditionally had vCenter running on a 32bit Operating System, now move to a x64bit Operating System to support vCenter 4.1 which enforces x64 bit architecture.

Now the actual root cause of the problem is the NetWorker 64bit client does not have the necessary nsrvim binary which is responsable for communicating with vCenter.

The good news is the fix is actually very simple, within the properties of the vCenter server youve configured in the NetWorker Management Console, just change the command host to any other networker system running a 32bit version of the client ( 7.5 and above ).

Typically the command host and the end point field have the same server configured, but as you can see from the screenshot below Ive just changed this to one of my test clients named “Client1”

 

Save the changes and away it goes again. Hope this helps.

For sometime now I’ve been trying to find more information about VMware’s new vStorage API  and while digging around I stumbled across this great VMware document called  “Designing Backup Solutions for VMware vSphere”      

The document in its own words has been written to “Introduce code developers to the procedures necessary to create backup and restore software for virtual machines”      

I know what your thinking….. “Your not a developer !!” ……No not even close but the document did however answer a tone of questions I had about what functionality I might be able to expect from EMC’s up coming release which is going to support the vStorage API.  

If I get time this week I may post listing which functionality in particular I would like to see built into NetWorker.  

The image below links to the VMware document.. enjoy !

        

    

 

     

 
 

    

    

  
 

   

 

  

  

  

 

This morning a work colleague attended an EMC NetWorker Webinar and asked EMC’s Anu Yamunan the big question we’ve been wanting to know for quite some time.

Q: IDATA: “When will vSphere vStorage API be fully supported by NetWorker ? As the VCB framework is end of life from 25/07/2010

A: EMC: “We are currently working on leveraging the vStorage API to deliver proxy based protection for VMware environments. NetWorker support for vStorage API is coming soon in the second half of 2010.

I’m really pleased to hear this important feature is in the works, but one particular part of the reply made me nervous “coming soon in the second half of 2010” this is because almost every EMC road map I’ve seen over the years breaks the year up into quarters.

EMC agreed to take this conversation offline and I’m hoping to get a better indication of the release date soon.

If your running an older version of NetWorker e.g. 7.3.x and you’ve implemented VMware Consolidated Backups, you need to consider the configuration differences between early and recent versions of NetWorker before upgrading.

Lets take a look at the differences

Pre NetWorker 7.4.1 each each virtual machine was configured as a saveset in the client instance of  the proxy server.

Example shown below.

 

So why is this configuration less then ideal ?

  • Firstly the backup server owns the client index and media database information for every VCB client
  • Limited visibility of the virtual machines configured in NetWorker
  • Both FULLVM and FILE  backup information was stored in the client index

  What changed post 7.4.1 ?

This in my opinion was the point where EMC took a step back and really started to think about how to better improve the configuration of virtual clients within NetWorker.

The image below shows a client configured in NetWorker 7.5.1, no longer is the virtual machine an entry in the saveset field for the proxy server.

 

Why is this configuration better ?

  • Each virtual machine is configured in NetWorker as you would any other client (which results in each system having its own client index)
  • The FULLVM (full image export) information is now stored in the media database, only vcb file backups populate the client index
  • Improved visibility of virtual machines configured in NetWorker

Final Note

This is a good example of why documentation such as the admin guide and release notes should be read before rushing into any NetWorker  upgrade.